Focusing on Jesus - aifc

Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Catholic priest and theologian who paid special attention to spiritual formation – and recorded his method in what become known as the Spiritual Exercises.

In the 1540s, as a mature student, Ignatius found himself needing to start all over again with studies at the University of Paris.  Yet, as he persevered through many challenges, his seven years in Paris proved to be highly significant for Ignatius – with the gathering of a small group of friends who would eventually form the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to start all over again?

Such moments are often the result of challenging times, yet Ignatius’ story reminds us that by focusing on Jesus, new beginnings can be born from life’s greatest trials.

The current season of Lent – which commenced on March 2nd – offers us an opportunity to do just that:  keep our focus firmly on Jesus.

The benefits of celebrating Lent

The Lenten season lasts for 40 days, mirroring Jesus’ time spent in the desert.

Just like Jesus fasted during those 40 days, many Christians choose to give something up for that period of time.  It is a practice of self-denial and reflection.  We take time to recognize that the ONLY thing that can truly quench our hunger, thirst, and desire is Jesus.

Then, when Easter comes, our hearts are ready to rejoice.

What can I give up?

Some advice I have been given that I found useful is to pick something that I think about a lot or find my identity in.

This is why people often give up a food, drink, or social media.

The idea is that when we decide to temporarily give up something that we use or think about often, it will help draw our minds to Jesus more frequently – reminding us that He is the one who sustains us.

What about adding something?

If Ignatius was alive today, he’d no doubt also be encouraging us to add a spiritual discipline to our daily or weekly routine during Lent.  This is another great way to turn our heart toward Christ.

What are referred to as the First Spiritual Exercises combine the ministries of spiritual conversation and spiritual exercises.  It can be as simple as focusing and reflecting on the answers to these questions, which helped create the exercises:

  • What do I desire?
  • Where can I find life?
  • What is my true face?
  • What is under my feet?
  • Do I have to be strong to serve?

You can find out more about spiritual exercises, and consider adding them to your spiritual practices, here: https://jisa.org.au/spiritual-exercises/

Studying at aifc

Have you thought about becoming a qualified counsellor? It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can extend God's love and grace to the hurting out in the community.

For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months:

  • The beginning of each year in February
  • Mid-Year courses commence in July

Enrolment Season - opens approximately 2 months prior to our courses commencing. Enrol online here during our enrolment season.

We also offer two modes of study:

  1. Seminar Blended Mode - only 13 face-to-face days per year
  2. Online Supported Mode - study online only from anywhere

A Master of Counselling course was introduced in 2018.

Contact aifc

Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm

At aifc, our sole focus is to train and equip Christian Counsellors. More than just a counsellor, a Christian counsellor trusts in God and listens to His still small voice above all else.

It’s a big difference.

Nicholas Marks, CEO aifc

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